Four reasons LGBTQ+ couples should consider a Charleston honeymoon
For a romantic honeymoon option, Charleston, S.C. can be an excellent choice for LGBTQ+ couples. They say the city, steeped in Southern charm, is like the love child of New Orleans and Savannah — two other American cities with an innate sense of place. And while parts of the South surely aren’t the most accepting of LGBTQ+ people, cities like Charleston serve as beacons of hope to our community, attracting LGBTQ+ folx from the surrounding areas.
On our brief “minimoon” to the city, we saw LGBTQ+ couples walking openly on the streets and even met some LGBTQ+ workers at attractions and restaurants. We felt entirely safe in Charleston, and also found a lot to love.
Here are four reasons to consider this Southern charmer for your special trip.
Food, Glorious Food!
We joke with friends that there isn’t a bad restaurant in Charleston, but in all seriousness, we didn’t find anything less than amazing. In the heart of the city, Husk, located in a gorgeous home, is true farm-to-table fare, with an emphasis on in-house pickling and flavorful Southern cuisine. Frannie & the Fox mixes wood fired pizza (the Taleggio with burnt honey is a must try!) with sharable dishes and fun décor inside and a picture-perfect courtyard patio outside.
Head a bit outside downtown for the fantastic flavors of Rodney Scott’s BBQ. Scott is a 2018 James Beard Foundation award winner for Best Chef Southeast, and we were sold on his cooking, from the pulled pork all the way to the banana pudding dessert.
You’ll find Florence’s Lowcountry Kitchen in an unassuming plaza that’s just a 10-minute Uber ride from downtown, but don’t even think of passing this by. Chef Matt’s family recipes here are all standouts, including the Fried Green Tomatoes, the savory Collard Greens (the best my Southern-cuisine-raised husband has ever had!), and Southern Tomato Pie — almost like a pizza made with a wonderful pie crust.
Museums and Culture
One of the great things about this city is that you can be as serious or relaxed about the culture as you’re feeling on any given day. The Gibbes Museum of Art is a fantastic place to take in artists’ work from the Carolinas and beyond. It’s also housed in a stunning building, where the architecture holds its own. The South Carolina Aquarium is another nice stop, with a long history of rehabilitating land and aquatic life back to health. Its new Sea Turtle Rescue Center is impressive to walk through.
Take an evening stroll around the city with Bulldog Tours of Charleston. We heard about prostitutes, vengeful flapper girls, witches, and more on our haunted Charleston walk. Or relax and sit back on the aptly named Schooner Pride for one of Charleston Harbor Tours sailboat cruises. We chose the lovely two-hour sunset cruise and celebrated with some champagne next to a couple there for their 7th wedding anniversary.
We were blown away by both of Charleston’s famed shopping areas. First, there’s King Street, a major thoroughfare through the city, which is lined with shops and restaurants. We perused the men’s clothing stores, antique shops, pet supply boutiques, and more. There’s something for everyone, from jewelry to shoes to books to luxury goods. You’ll find some familiar chain stores, but many local and unique experiences, too.
The city is also renowned for its incredible Charleston City Market, which runs for blocks and blocks across the downtown district. We wandered through it every day we were there and discovered something new each time. The Market contains hundreds of vendors, selling paintings, candles, soaps and lotions, biscuits, art, textiles, and so much more. On Friday and Saturday evenings from March-December, the market hosts Night Market, with more than 100 local vendors, music, and food.
Romantic Lodging Options
With hotels, bed & breakfasts, historic inns, cottages, and beach rentals, Charleston has so many lodging options that it’s hard to choose. We chose Emeline, a boutique hotel right on Church Street in the heart of the city, a mere block from the Charleston City Market. Our room was spacious and well appointed, and we loved the properties’ amenities, including bikes and even Mini Coopers, which can be reserved in four-hour increments. Plus, the property’s adorable Clerks Coffee Company was a breakfast favorite.
Explore Charleston has a wonderful section on lodging options to help you narrow down your choices. Some other nice LGBTQ+-friendly choices include The Sanctuary on Kiawah Island, HarbourView Inn, The Grand Bohemian, French Quarter Inn, and The Spectator.
filed under: LGBTQ+ honeymoon, Charleston, LGBTQ+ love, minimoon, LGBTQ+-friendly travel